Friday, January 20, 2006

Dialogue on the Iraqi War: Is it in Accordance With Just War Criteria or an Imperialistic Outrage? (vs. Stephen Hand), Part Two

See Part One.

*****

And another similar article:

Russia Moved Iraqi WMD Moscow Moved Weapons to Syria and Lebanon, Charles R. Smith, March 3, 2005 (NewsMax.com) [citation]

And yet another:

Insight on the News - World Release, April 25, 2004, Issue date: 5/11/04

Iraqi Weapons in Syria, By Kenneth R. Timmerman [citation]

Here is a superb article about a Syrian defector who tells exactly where the Iraqi weapons and WMD materials are stored. It even has a link for satellite photos, a map of the locations, and links to other articles:

A senior Syrian journalist reports Iraq WMD located in three Syrian sites, 06 January, 2004(Lebanese Association) [citation]

And more:

Western spies: Syria storing WMD in Sudan, Washington Times, 9 April 2004 [citation]

And more: Winnipeg Sun, January 25, 2004:

WMD in Syria: Kay: Ex-inspector says Iraq sent 'lot of material' [citation]

Dr. Hubert writes again on the TCR page that my friend Stephen Hand referenced for us:


Ultimately in light of subsequent post-war developments (no WMD of any consequence existed in Iraq prior to invasion in 2003), it is clear that his decision to support the invasion despite reservations has proven unwise and regrettable.

(in The Iraq War: A Tragic Misapplication of Just-War Theory Or a Failure of Intelligence”?)

Obviously, then, Dr. Hubert makes this consideration a prime one in determining whether the invasion was justified. He sounds as if he would agree that it was, if the weapons were indeed there. Well, I have shown from several high-up intelligence sources that they were there, as everyone thought before the invasion (since we had weapons inspectors, there, etc.).

If Dr. Hubert disagrees, he is welcome to come here and dispute those sources and evidences and to give his reasons for doing so.

Later in this article, he writes:


The main argument which was apparently persuasive for many people who ultimately supported the war was that Iraq possessed arsenals of biological, chemical and possibly even nuclear weapons which would be sold to Al Queda terrorists who would then unleash them on the United States. Many advocates of the Iraq War argued that this threat was grave and imminent enough to satisfy the first element of the Just-War Doctrine although the debate was never really framed with the specific “4” elements of the JWD in the fore-front.

Unfortunately, there were only a few members of the executive and legislative branches of the government who were allowed to see and evaluate the complete classified intelligence material which purportedly established a growing, grave, and imminent threat. In hindsight public lack of access to classified intelligence documents was perhaps the key deficiency which allowed the first element of the Just War Doctrine to be “finessed” such that many people (who otherwise would have been strongly against the war) reluctantly and perhaps against their better judgment accepted it. The author was one such person.

***

. . . the conversation remains civil and amiable (and I think, constructive). I am now challenging Dr. Hubert, whom Stephen cited as a resident expert at TCR. We shall see if he can disprove my counter-arguments about the WMD's moved to Syria, etc.

Whether my friendly dialogical opponents "answer" or not is ultimately of little concern of mine (though I naturally hope that they will try). My aim, as always, is to get both sides out on the table, argued by proponents of each, so that readers can see the strength of each case and make up their own minds.

That's happening here, so I am delighted. Stephen has offered a vigours argument, and I am responding. I hope it will continue, and that others will join in. So please don't make this personal at all. Just let the arguments stand on their own. If they're good (wherever they are), then they'll stand up to scrutiny.

***

This is old diehard speculation and it is little wonder that the governments involved would not declare it as fact. See: Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms.

The speculative thesis also deflected from the fact that the USA is the largest respository of WMD's on the planet and thus has no moral authority (other than example) to preach to others on the subject. We are also the only ones also to have actually used an atomic weapon---and on cities.

1st source

2nd source

3rd source

4th source

I think we have both represented our positions well enough here to be more fully understood . And I thank you, Dave, for the invitation. It is good to stick to the issues.

Dr. Hubert again writes, in the same article:


In a similar fashion, element two was also “finessed” by those who wished to establish that what could be done “practically” to eliminate the perceived Iraqi “threat” had in fact already been done. It is clear in retrospect and with 20/20
hindsight that such was clearly not the case. U.N. weapons inspectors found no
weapons of mass destruction and had clearly asked for additional time in which to more completely search the country of Iraq prior to war breaking out. Instead the United States and her allies (the “coalition of the willing”) began hostilities after being unable to obtain an additional U. N. resolution specifically calling for the commencement of war.[11] All “evidence” which purportedly established a “lasting, grave and certain risk” was “classified” and unavailable to the general public for review and debate. It remains in this author’s view a tremendous mistake in retrospect.

After the war, no WMD’s of significance have ever been found either, indicating that our “intelligence” was woefully inaccurate![12] Some pro-war proponents still maintain that significant quantities of WMD have been moved either to Syria or the Baca valley of Lebanon. As best the author can determine there is no publicly documented evidence that either of these exist.

Okay; well, I have offered tons of "publicly documented evidence" in the above articles, from sources who would be in a position to know:

1) Israeli's top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom: General Moshe Ya’alon (NY Times-Sun: 12-15-05)

See also: Former IDF chief: Saddam’s WMDs in Syria, Canadian Jewish News, 12-22-05:

Saddam Hussein moved his chemical weapons to Syria before the U.S.-led war on Iraq began, a former Israeli military chief said. “He transferred the chemical agents from Iraq to Syria,” Moshe Ya’alon, who was Israel’s top general during Operation Iraqi Freedom, told the New York Sun last week.
2) David Kay, the former head of the coalition's hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (The Daily Telegraph, 1-25-04)

3) John Shaw, the former deputy undersecretary for international technology security (NewsMax.com, March 3, 2005)

4) Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Insight on the News - World April 25, 2004)

5) Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. James Clapper, head of the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (same source article)

6) Nizar Nayuf (Nayyouf-Nayyuf), a Syrian journalist who recently defected from Syria to Western Europe and is known for bravely challenging the Syrian regime, in a letter of January 5 [2004], to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Much more to come on this, because it is such a huge and fallacious plank of the anti-war movement.

Stephen offers counter-evidence: "Report Finds No Evidence Syria Hid Iraqi Arms," By Dana Priest, Washington Post Staff Writer, Tuesday, April 26, 2005; Page A01. [citation]

Here is a tremendous article: Commentary, December 2005:

Who Is Lying About Iraq?, by Norman Podhoretz [lengthy, very important citation]

[article cites these Democrats as formerly asserting Iraqi danger and possession of WMDs: Senator Harry Reid, Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under Clinton, President Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright, his Secretary of State, Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Adviser, Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, William Cohen (actually a Republican), Senators Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry, Nancy Pelosi, the future leader of the Democrats in the House, and then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, Senators Bob Graham, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd]

Stephen cites: Iraq had no WMD program to give to Syria, says Kay.

Former US weapons hunter David Kay tells the Senate Armed Services Committee that "we were almost all wrong" about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and the possible "Syrian connection" hinted at in some media reports appears increasingly tenuous.

But Dr. Hubert, ostensibly either unfamiliar with facts like these above, or undaunted by them, continues on in the same article:

Over-extrapolation of Bad Data

It is also critical to recognize that our “intelligence” for the foreseeable future is likely to be incomplete or false with respect to ascertaining the true situation inside tightly-knit and closed societies in which we at present have few if any actual physical assets. This is particularly true of terrorist entities. For the most part poor “intelligence” is largely responsible for the widespread belief that Iraq under Saddam Hussein posed a lasting, grave, and certain threat because of presumed WMD’s. Without that belief, it is extremely unlikely that a serious case for war would have been made in the wake of 9/11. The fact that a serious case was made even with that operating assumption demonstrates how poorly understood and applied the Just War Doctrine is today since there was never any persuasive evidence that Saddam
Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks or that he was about to engage in either furnishing Al Queda with WMD or attack the U.S directly. In retrospect the entire matter was an example of over-extrapolation of bad data in which there was an a-priori bias in favor of Iraq possessing WMD and in favor of Iraqi regime change as formal U.S policy.

I, for one, would like to see his responses to the facts reconted in the Commentary article, and the evidences for the WMDs being moved to Syria.

Stephen,

I looked up the article on Kay that you referenced. His stance is confusing. Here is a paragraph:

Syria's anger has actually been in response to media reports, specifically from the Sunday Telegraph, citing an interview with Kay in which the former weapons hunter suggests that some Iraqi weapons equipment or technology may have gone to Syria. If Naji had instead read the New York Times, his anger would have likely been assuaged. In an interview published in the Sunday Telegraph last week, Kay
reportedly says that he believes that some of Hussein's weapons of mass destruction were sent to Syria. "We are not talking about a large stockpile of weapons, but we know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," the British paper quotes Kay as saying. A New York Times article also published last week offers a different take on an interview with Kay. The US daily writes: "Dr Kay said that there was also no conclusive evidence that Iraq had moved any unconventional weapons to Syria, as some Bush administration officials have suggested. He said there had been persistent reports from Iraqis saying they or someone they knew had seen cargo being moved across the border, but there is no proof that such movements involved weapons materials." While these two quotes, at first glance, suggest that Kay is being equivocal, it is more likely that the two newspapers are presenting the same information in a different light. Taken together, the two reports suggest that while former Iraqi officials have claimed that some weapons material was sent to Syria, Kay does not consider this to be concrete evidence. Kay clarified his stance at the Senate Arms Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying that while it is probable that Hussein's regime moved technology, documents, and small amounts of material for weapons of mass destruction to Syria before the US invasion, "my belief that they did not move large stockpiles of WMDs to Syria is based on my conclusion that there were not large stockpiles to move."

(Iraq had no WMD program to give to Syria, says Kay)

U.S. intel 'unable to rule out' WMD transfers to Syria. World Tribune, (Tuesday, April 26, 2005)
[citation]

We all want to fight terrorism and that's why we shouldn't be stirring the Islamic bees nest, lest we breed them ourselves like pinworms on the sorry aggression which has strenghtened the resolve of fanatics today ----and those unborn. Islamic fanatics have very long memories and every day they are learning how to fight superpowers. Tactically, even given Bush's view of the world, this was high blunder if we want to defeat terrorism.

As Jon has said, it is clear that WMD's were never the real reason the Bush Administration was itching to go to war with Saddam in the first place. Not just the Downing Street memo, which is also decisive evidence predating the war, but almost nobody but neoconservatives questions the fact that Bush Jr. was continuing dad's war which was grounded in our geoplitical "interests" in the region.

We let Rwandan's get hacked to death in the hundreds of thousands (topping a million I think) but moved heaven and earth to liberate Kuwait.

There is a reason for that, Granny. Black Gold, Texas Tea...

As for David Kay, I don't think his is mere political equivocation there about Syria, but as the report said, the speculation (which was never more than that) is just that. And it drags in another enemny conveniently. There was never any hard evidence that any traffick was WMD's, in fact the hard evidence indicated that 95% of Saddam's WMD's (I've seen that % somewhere) were destroyed under the watchful eye of the UN back in the early 90's. Saddam wanted the sanctions lifted and did what he was told.

But even if he had them, Israel could still send him to Hell before he could use them and terrorists in this country can make biological weapons from the goods at Home Depot, once they get the fertilizer. We don't really worry about anything foreign except a "dirty bomb" which will have to come from somewhere other than Iraq.


Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is the scandal of the century. And only one thing accounts for why we sleep with Kings who financially bankroll Wahabi terrorist mosques and schools and who oppress women beyond belief and behead those who convert to Christianity.... Black gold, Texas Tea...

James writes, "I take what the US Bishops say on issues such as this with a big grain of salt since especially in the Past many of their arguments on Social issues have been from whats appears to be a democractic party in robes"

No, James. Democrats think the USCCB are Inquistors from the dark ages on the matter of contraception and abortion, and there is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount to suggest one party or another can be identified as the Catholic party.

Catholics must transcend political parties and advocate life. We are with those in the GOP who urge more morality (even post-partum) and with those among the Democrats who urge worker rights over corporate greed.

Social justice in the Catholic sense reaches from life to life and blesses advocates for life wherever they are found, and opposes a culture of death. Catholics are universal (Catholic). We place no nation on earth above God and His Kingdom, not even ours. I have friends who are Republican and democrat. I am an Independent but voted for George Bush in his first bid because he said he wanted a humbler foreign policy, etc. Never again. Didn't vote in the last election. Couldn't in conscience.


I'd like to know where we get oil if we can't buy it from countries unless they are morally perfect (as we judge, sitting here with our 1.5 million legal abortions every year, an abyss most Arab countries would not sink to, because they generally value family and still even have children!). Or should we go back to coal and wood stoves and ride horses?

Pretty much everyone agrees we need to radically cut back our dependence on foreign oil and develope alternative sources of energy. I hate to think of all the blood that has been spilled to keep the light on in Las Vegas, Manhattan and in LA.

We need to develop reliable nationwide public transportation to cut back on all the cars on the road here, since this is doing great damage to the atmosphere and planet, to say nothing of keeping us off our feet.

Until then, we can show ourselves to be peaceful, friendly and neighborly trade partners which can be a far greater incentive to stability in the Middle East than hegemony. And then we could demand true democratic reforms in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran via economic incentives.

Saudi Arabia needs us to buy their oil. Iraq and the other oil producing nations need us to buy their oil. I recall the 1973 (?) crisis where the Arab producers had us all waiting in very long lines for oil (I simplify here, to be sure). From then on we were talking about alternative resources, but how far have we come?

It is in this research and development, it seems to me, we ought to be spending billions instead of in bloodshed.

If we show the Islamic nations they need us as a market and that we can ensure their prosperity, rather than breathing fire and saber rattling toward them, there is a far greater chance they will respond more reasonably. But we've got to give up all plans to occupy parts of the region and we must resolve the Israeli-Paleistinian conflict. Force only invites terrible reaction. As Dr. Hubert has shown it is the military presence of the "infidel" near Mecca which ignited bin Laden's criminal wrath.

The former Soviet Union finally gave up their atheistic ideology, not because they couldn't keep going as a military enemy, but because it didn't make sense to become a backward nation toward the 21st century. They turned their swords into ploughshares which made more sense. It was more a great act than a defeat as the US frames it. Or so it seems to me.

The Soviet Union collapsed because President Reagan defied them with missiles in Eastern Europe and the Strategic Defense Initiative (derisively referred to by the liberals as "Star Wars"), and wouldn't back down in negotiations with Gorbachev; and because Pope John Paul II defied them with sheer moral force and his backing of Solidarity.

Simply becoming more capitalist had little to do with it, except on an indirect level (mainly the inability to maintain a huge army and stockpile of arms while people could hardly eat).

Communist China has been increasingly capitalist for many years, but that doesn't cause them to value freedom (particularly religious) or human rights (particularly of would-be second children, whose mothers are forced to have them murdered).

This is just one more lesson in real-life politics: unless the Soviets had been faced down with real weapons backed by real intent to use them, history woldn't have been what it was.

The Cold War wasn't won by Utopian, pseudo-pacifist wimps like President Jimmy Carter, who had the guts to boycott the Olympics if the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (wow! what moral resolve!). He couldn't even free the Iranian hostages, but all of a sudden when the Gipper got in there, just by amazing coincidence, the hostages were soon freed . . .

***

If the derogatory remarks about Catholic converts were directed in part towards me (one might get that impression, since I am one of the main participants in this debate, and a convert), they don't fit:

1) I was never a "fundamentalist" in the first place. That is only a tiny minority of Protestantism or even evangelical Protestantism.

2) My politics cannot be that neatly categorized and dismissed. They were essentially what they are now from 1982 on (when I came to understand and become educated about the wickedness of abortion, and started questioning feminist radicalism), which included 8 years as an evangelical Protestant. Throughout the 70s I had been very liberal (and religiously almost agnostic). I have been critical of both parties, just as Stephen Hand has mentioned several times, as his own view. See my paper: Reflections on the "Great American Mush God" of Civil Religion and Morality, and the Catholic "Third Way" in Socio-Political Thought.

3) I, too, vote for both parties. When local Democrats are pro-life, I vote for them. I would never vote for any Republican who is either liberal or pro-death (and there are many who believe one or both things).

4) I am a harsh critic of corporate and multinational capitalism (have been as long as I remember), and advocate something along the lines of G.K. Chesterton's distributism. I am equally critical (as GKC was) of socialism.

5) The Republican party is not so much harmed by "Protestant" thinking as it is by libertarianism (which, in my estimation, is increasingly influencing both parties), or by asinine, spineless "moderates" who believe little in principle except in the rightness of getting re-elected and doing whatever it takes to make that happen.

6) I take several other positions, too, which don't fit into the classic "conservative Republican" mode, such as opposition to the death penalty, great concern in creating economic opportunities in the inner city, and fighting remaining racism through programs other than Affirmative Action, which has failed in its purpose, and to the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945.

7) Favoring this war as a Catholic is no more caving into "Protestant thought" than was the stellar support of the American Catholic bishops and Pope Pius XII for the Allies in World War II. That war had far more immoral elements in it than the Gulf War or the Iraqi War have:

A) The nuclear bombings were immoral, according to Catholic just war principles. They could no more be justifed than the German bombing of London.

B) Likewise, the carpet bombings of Dresden, Tokyo, and other cities.

C) Roosevelt's neglect of the European Jews was damnable.

D) Our treatment of Germans in some of our concentration camps was certainly not up the standards of Christian, let alone Catholic Christian ethics.

All this, yet the Church supported that war. Support for a war doesn't mean that one necessarily agrees with every jot and tittle of conduct in it.

But the last two wars made vast improvements in conduct, making them far closer to just war principles than WWII, Vietnam, or Korea were:

A) The technology of smart bombs and highly guided missiles makes it far easier to avoid civilian casualties and hone in on the combatants and military targets of the enemy.

B) Increased spying capacity facilitates the same goal.

C) The tiny number of casualties in the Gulf War and (relatively) in the Iraqi War reflects this. 58,000 died in Vietnam; 50,000 in Korea in just three years. That's about 45 a day in Korea, and would take just 44 days to get to our current casualties of about 2000. It's 25 times higher of a casualty rate than the present war.

All casualties are a great tragedy, of course, but sadly necessary to preserve freedom in a fallen world. Thank God for our military: how many multiple thousands, likely millions of lives they have preserved by fighting tyranny . . .

But the problem today is that our country is so selfish that no cause is important enough to require any sacrifice at all. This is the fruit of the Me Generation and the selfishness of the 60s and 70s. No one believes in anything anymore; let alone a cause to die for. And that is a radical cultural change. This is why the liberals now oppose every war, no matter how necessary and sensible. Even after 9-11, sane liberal consensus policy on retaliation only lasted a year or so before it went back to business as usual and politicizing even terrorism for their own selfish goals. One observed this progression in the change in John Kerry himself.

So to rationalize this selfishness and political Machiavellianism, the liberals must come up with reasons to oppose this war (Bush lied, it's for oil, it's imperialistic, all war is immoral because people get killed, etc.).

I do not intend to indict Stephen Hand in the above, btw; it is a general criticism of the leftist near-pacifist outlook on all war, post-Vietnam.

David, regarding the fall of the Societ Union: Do you really think a country opens up the churches because missiles are pointed at it?

No; I think they did for a variety of reasons, including sensible self-interest forcibly brought home to them by pointed missiles and the resolve of the Gipper to fight the Evil Empire if necessary (or at least act as if it is possible or conceivable that he might do so: sort of a "psychological deterrence").

They pointed missiles back at us. And, frankly got sick of it. JPII's moral persuasion, seen in the Solidarity movement in Poland, is what set the USSR to thinking, in my opinion. The Soviets could always have answered missiles with missiles. But they were tired of it and saw its futility. I think Gorbachev was a man who listened to the likes of JPI.

John Paul II's views on Toleration of Deterrence Evolved

He wrote:

All are well aware that the type of security on which our planet has depended for several decades - a balance of terror based on nuclear deterrence - is a security with a far too high risk level. This awareness should encourage nations to enter into a new phase in their relations, with all due urgency. This is precisely what you are now devoting your attention to, in order to eliminate once and for all the spectre of a nuclear war and of all armed conflict...

( Vatican, 31 May 1988 John Paul II Message to General Assembly of UNO)

At the level of security doctrine, there is a great need to move beyond nuclear deterrence. The time has come for all States to comply with the unanimous conclusion of the International Court of Justice that negotiations toward nuclear disarmament be pursued and achieved in good faith under strict and effective international control. The Holy See reiterates its stand that a "peace" based on nuclear weapons cannot be the peace we seek in the 21st century.


(April 27, 2004 Review Conference of the parties to the Non Proliferation Treaty)

Pope Benedict: Resources Can't be Wasted on Weapons and Wars

(AGI) - Rome, Oct. 17 - Referring to the message sent by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of FAO's foundation, Cardinal Angelo Sodano has launched an appeal calling for a stronger commitment to combating hunger and promoting peace. Sodano stressed that the fight against hunger "must be a priority aimed at providing everyone with the means to earn one's living. Resources can't be wasted on weapons and wars. Prophet Isaiah links the dawn of universal peace to an image which means so much to FAO: it will come when people change their swords into ploughs and their spears into scythes". Sodano also praised the work done by the United Nations, that is an Institution which "was created to eradicate the scourge of hunger by promoting farming activities worldwide". This objective "is all the more urgent now that food crises keep hitting people all over the world, while there are countries where the abundance of their production raises some questions as to their life styles". (AGI) -

Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani: Modern Warfare Condemned: "No conceivable...Justification"

He wrote in 1947: "The extent of the damage done to national assets by aerial warfare, and the dreadful weapons that have been introduced of late, is so great that it leaves both vanquished and victor the poorer for years after. Innocent people, too, are liable to great injury from the weapons in current use: hatred is on that account excited above measure; extremely harsh reprisals are provoked; wars result which flaunt every provision of the jus gentium, and are marked by a savagery greater than ever. And what of the period immediately after a war? Does not it also provide an obvious pointer to the enormous and irreparable damage which war, the breeding place of hate and hurt, must do to the morals and manners of nations? These considerations, and many others which might be adduced besides, show that modern wars can never fulfil those conditions which (as we stated earlier on in this essay) govern - theoretically - a just and lawful war. Moreover, no conceivable cause could ever be sufficient justification for the evils, the slaughter, the destruction, the moral and religious upheavals which war today entails".

Great thanks particularly to James for his lengthy, thoughtful contributions, and to all others who have contributed. I appreciate Stephen Hand coming here and presenting his views, and also the cordial treatment he was granted by my blog regulars. I suspect that the majority of my readers support the war but I don't know that for sure; it's only a guess. Maybe it is half and half for all I know.

. . . I have already conceded it was not "only" about oil (even if that is integral, see previous remarks) but, as Chomsky said, if Iraq produced only pickles we would not be so anxious to kill and die. It is the total (myopic) economic "necessity" which propels into those places where angels fear to tread. I recommend reading Dr. Hubert at TCR on the multifaceted and sorry blunder which will likely only multiply terrorists and possible Islamic states in the region.

This is simply not true. It's one of the many myths which pepper this debate, like "Bush lied" and "it's mainly for oil" and "Iraq had no connection whatsoever to terrorism" and "Saddam had no WMDs," and so forth. I've been systematically disposing of most of these, I think; why not this one, too? And one does it with hard facts, just like the others:

Support for Bin Laden, Violence Down Among Muslims, Poll Says, By Robin Wright, Washington Post, Friday, July 15, 2005; Page A13. [citation]

So the truth about this is exactly the opposite of what war opponents claim. Far from increasing rage; we are convincing Muslim and Arab onlookers all the time, who the "bad guys" really are.

We're winning on all fronts: we're killing the terrorists: some of the most evil men in the world, and lessening their power and influence and capacity to slaughter innocents; we're winning the war for the hearts of the people in the region; we're spreading democracy and freedom.

It's easy to preach about the glories of democracy from one's easy seat in a democracy. We're doing something ABOUT that, so that OTHERS can enjoy the same freedoms. Only liberals are dense enough to not see the clear rightness and profound, unarguable justice of that goal and strategy. They would rather oppose it because they know it helps Republican political prospects in 2006 and 2008: having been so spot-on right about this war effort and the terrorists and how to successfully confront them.

That can never be, no matter how right a Republican cause turned out to be, and how many lives are saved and how many millions more now enjoy political freedom and basic human rights as a result.

Here's more clear evidence along the same lines: Poll: Major Change of Public Opinion in Muslim World. [citation] - complete report available at link -

And another, from the liberal New Republic magazine: Survey Says: Polls and the Muslim World, By Robert Satloff, September 30, 2005 [citation]

And a fourth piece of evidence: Our Friends the Pakistanis: Support for the U.S. is surging in some parts of the Muslim world. BY HUSAIN HAQQANI AND KENNETH BALLEN, Monday, December 19, 2005, Wall Street Journal. [citation]

Iraqis are much more ambivalent or opposed to American occupation of Iraq (which is why I favor withdrawal as soon as feasible without undoing the gains achieved). See this informative article: Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq.

That doesn't prove, however, that there is some mythical massive build-up of Muslim and Arab anger against the United States, and opposition to a supposed Crusader mentality, as Stephen has insinuated, citing his friend Dr. Hubert.

One expects resentment against occupation. This is normal. It doesn't prove that the occupation is unnecessary or when it should end, in and of itself. Folks hate to go to the dentist or to get a broken bone repaired, too; doesn't mean those things aren't necessary for the long run.

Regaring terrorism and the war in Iraq, not so fast. There have been a number of major terrorist attacks / warnings even outside Iraq since the war began---Spain and London and we all know what is going on inside Iraq. This is to say nothing of France's riots, etc, attacks on synagogues, etc, etc. Much of the smaller attacks are not even reported (the fact that the DC sniper was a Muslim was underplayed, no?) Moreover to suggest this war will quell terrorism flies in the face of what radical Islam is all about and what feeds and foments it. There is no shortage of evidence that the war has served to increase terrorism, and I do not cite any except with trepidation.

Another important and disturbing fact is that quiet periods between attacks for Islamic radicalists, when such periods exist, should never ---as we have learned--- give rise for any kind of triumphalism, since Jihadists know how to wait, lull everyone to sleep, and then, when we least expect it, hit very hard. Terrorism is an inexpensive way to cause havoc and mayhem (as opposed to the very expensive and cumbersome western marshalling of battalions and gigantic force) and the war in Iraq has provided those bent on it with all the reason they could want to strike blows against the infidels. Not to see a connection especially here between the terrorist threat and the Iraq war is to forget what kids can do with rocks and slingshots against the Israeli military power ----for a very long time. To say nothing of human beings strapped with hidden bombs (when this happens in the US, as I fear it must at some point, then we may wake up; but will President Bush then only strip away more of our liberties in the attempt to deflect from the terrifying effects of his own botched and tragic war adventure?)

To cite but a few:

-Losing the War on Terrorism

-Iraq War Forces New Analysis of Terrorism

-U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism State Dept. Will Not Put Data in Report

-Iraq war is breeding a new generation of professional terrorists, warns CIA report

-British Intelligence Cites Iraq War as Cause of Terrorism

-Iraq New Terror Breeding Ground

-War Without End

- Blix Says Iraq War Stimulated Terrorism

-Iraq: A New Source of Terrorists

-Paul Craig Roberts

-The War on terror in Translation

-Iraq war fuels terrorism

-Will U.S. Foreign Policy Increase Terrorism?

-And here is a recommended Winter break reading list

One could go on and on...

Hell, forget us antiwar activists, let's at least listen to the Iraqis themselves who, with all Moslems, want self-determination (even if it may mean civil war) above all else. They are saying it's time to get out (when Murtha said it he was greeted with derision, but then the Bush Administration immediately began a reversal of course and expected applause)

Secret MoD poll: Iraqis support attacks on British troops

Iraqis want us out, says US general

US general admits Iraqis want troops out

82% Sunni, 69% Shiite Iraqis want the US to withdrawl immediately or after the elections

New Poll: Most Iraqis Want US Out

Now that they voted, Iraqis want U.S. out

Iraqi leaders and American military families speak out

Point of consideration: Had Bush sought international approval for a police action to go into Iraq and remove Saddam and his top generals and then immediately sent them to the Hague and brought our troops home, he might have been seen by the Iraqis as a hero. Instead he chose war against the UN pleas for more time for inspections, refusing to wait for a UN mandate for circumscribed force and precisely defined objectives. He refused the advice of our major allies, he refused the advice of the Vatican and the Arab League itself and chose instead the quagmire, learning nothing from Vietnam and serving only to destablize the most sensitive and volatile region in the world. In short, he acted like a new imperium and violated the law against aggression established by the very international law the US worked to construct. This is not how it is supposed to be done anymore. The poor man ---and I take no pleasure in saying this---has made a fool of himself and our country, stiired the ire of the Iraqis themselves, probably proliferated clerical Islam and Sharia law in the region.

In the US itself we didn't give women the right to vote until the 20th century (!) and President Bush expects to wave a magic wand and impose a veritable democracy at once on a peoples who have never known it? Please! I'd like to know if Mr. Bush has ever read a book on history.

Here is an article featured at TCR today of no small consequence.

END

No comments: